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A residuated lattice is an ordered algebraic structure [formula] such that is a lattice, is a monoid, and \ and / are binary operations for which the equivalences [formula] hold for all a,b,c ∈ L. It is helpful to think of the last two operations as left and right division and thus the equivalences can be seen as "dividing" on the right by b and "dividing" on the left by a. The class of all residuated lattices is denoted by ℛℒ The study of such objects originated in the context of the theory of ring ideals in the 1930s. The collection of all two-sided ideals of a ring forms a lattice upon which one can impose a natural monoid structure making this object into a residuated lattice. Such ideas were investigated by Morgan Ward and R. P. Dilworth in a series of important papers [15, 16, 45–48] and also by Krull in [33]. Since that time, there has been substantial research regarding some specific classes of residuated structures, see for example [1, 9, 26] and [38], but we believe that this is the first time that a general structural theory has been established for the class ℛℒ as a whole. In particular, we develop the notion of a normal subalgebra and show that ℛℒ is an "ideal variety" in the sense that it is an equational class in which congruences correspond to "normal" subalgebras in the same way that ring congruences correspond to ring ideals. As an application of the general theory, we produce an equational basis for the important subvariety ℛℒ[sup C] that is generated by all residuated chains. In the process, we find that this subclass has some remarkable structural properties that we believe could lead to some important decomposition theorems for its finite members (along the lines of the decompositions provided in [27])


Published: Blount, Kevin and Constantine Tsinakis. "The Structure of Residuated Lattices." International Journal of Algebra and Computation 13.4 (2003): 437-461.